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Sunday, 22 September 2013

British Business Club in Ukraine: YOU can because you are a foreigner.

British Business Club in Ukraine: YOU can because you are a foreigner.:

"Anyone who has ever tried to use a bank in Ukraine to send money to another country will know the automatic barriers that you encounter from bank staff and the ‘system’.

Recently I needed to send some money (privately and not business related) to the UK. I was lucky to be provided with all the details of the account including full name, address of the bank, the IBAN of the account, the branch sort code etc. but I did not have the SWIFT code of the bank. Within the EU we use the IBAN for all transactions to make life easier, but here in Ukraine an IBAN is not recognised. I knew this already and thought I would ask the bank to find the SWIFT code."

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Viacom Takes Over MTV Russia | Business | The Moscow Times

Viacom Takes Over MTV Russia | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Global media giant Viacom has taken back control of the MTV network in Russia after years of franchising the brand to local license holders and will relaunch the channel Oct. 1, an entertainment news website has reported.

New York-based Viacom regained direct control after the previous license holder, the Russian media company ProfMedia declined to extend its agreement, opting instead to launch a new entertainment channel on the same frequency, according to a Hollywood Reporter story on Thursday.

The relaunched MTV Russia will be available as a cable and satellite channel. Viacom has already signed agreements with several domestic distributors, The Hollywood Reporter stated.

Elena Balmont, general manager of Viacom International Media Networks Russia and CIS told The Hollywood Reporter that MTV Russia would now be "much more closely aligned with the MTV brand globally.""

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Ukraine's EU trade deal will be catastrophic, says Russia | World news | #Yalta2013

Ukraine's EU trade deal will be catastrophic, says Russia | World news |

The Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, and commissioner for enlargement
and European neighbourhood policy, Stefan Fule, shake hands.
Photograph: Andrei Mosienko/AFP/Getty Images
The Kremlin has warned Ukraine that if the country goes ahead with a planned agreement on free trade with the EU, it faces inevitable financial catastrophe and possibly the collapse of the state.

Russia is making a last-minute push to derail the integration agreement, which is due to be signed in late November. Instead, Moscow wants to lure its neighbour into its own alliance, a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan that critics have referred to as a reincarnation of the Soviet Union. Russia has made it clear that Ukraine has to choose between the two options and cannot sign both agreements.

At a discussion forum in the Black Sea resort of Yalta over the weekend, European politicians gathered to pepper Ukraine's president and political elite with encouragement to cement the country's turn away from Moscow and towards Brussels. At the same palace where in 1945 Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met and carved up Europe, there were angry exchanges between western politicians and the Kremlin's point man on Ukraine."

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Defense News Roundup: Saudi Tanks, UAE Rockets, and Fighters for Tunisia

Defense News Roundup: Saudi Tanks, UAE Rockets, and Fighters for Tunisia:

"The U.S. military has a reputation as a somewhat secretive organization. But in one respect at least, the Pentagon is one of the most "open" of our government agencies. Every day of the week, rain or shine, the Department of Defense tells U.S. taxpayers what contracts it's issued, to whom, and for how much -- all right out in the open on its website.

So what has the Pentagon been up to this week?"

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Abu Dhabi’s Senaat Said to Hire HSBC, JPMorgan for Share Sale - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi’s Senaat Said to Hire HSBC, JPMorgan for Share Sale - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi holding group Senaat, which owns companies including National Petroleum Construction Co., hired HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) for a share sale, two people familiar with the matter said.
The company appointed the banks as joint book runners for an initial public offering this year, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Senaat Chief Financial Officer Jassem Saleh Busaibe declined to comment, as did a spokesman for HSBC. Calls to JPMorgan’s media office in London outside of office hours weren’t immediately answered.
Senaat is among United Arab Emirates’ companies planning share sales after stock values surged. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark ADX General Index gained 45 percent this year, while the government forecasts average economic growth of 4.6 percent between 2012 and 2015, more than twice as fast as the previous four years."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Fed jitters dampen most of Gulf; rate cut boosts Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Fed jitters dampen most of Gulf; rate cut boosts Egypt | Reuters:

"* Reduction in Fed stimulus possible as soon as October

* Some funds selling ahead of Q3-end

* IPO speculation weighs on Qatar

* Dubai bucks downtrend but near major chart barrier

* Most foreigners still staying out of Egypt rally

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Renewed worries about the possibility of U.S. monetary tightening caused most Gulf stock markets to drop on Sunday, while Egypt rose on the back of an interest rate cut by its central bank.

Like other markets around the world, Gulf bourses rose last week in response to the U.S. Federal Reserve's surprise decision to maintain its monetary stimulus. But on Friday, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said in an interview on Bloomberg TV that a start to winding down the stimulus was possible in October, depending on economic data.

So the euphoria surrounding last week's Fed decision is fading quickly. Although the booming Gulf is less vulnerable than most regions to tighter U.S. monetary policy, its markets are near multi-year peaks that were hit in August, leaving them vulnerable to profit-taking."

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Is Kuwait going to jump on the shale bandwagon? | Al Bawaba

Is Kuwait going to jump on the shale bandwagon? | Al Bawaba:

"Kuwait has announced it is conducting studies into the viability of extracting shale gas from recently identified reserves, although any commercial operation will likely be many years off.

Despite its extensive natural gas reserves – estimated to be around 1.8trn cu metres – Kuwait is a net importer of the hydrocarbon. This is due in part to growing demand for electricity, which rises by about 6-8% each year, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Water. Planned industrial expansion, including in the gas-hungry downstream petrochemicals sector, will add to the draw upon resources, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.

A report prepared by online sectoral publisher in mid-April said Kuwait’s shale gas potential had only recently come into focus, due to the past concentration on conventional oil reserves. Although the report noted that data on the extent of the shale gas reserves were limited at best, it cited geologists as saying initial studies indicated substantial resources both on- and off-shore.

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Details on Oil Tax Tweaks Emerging | Business | The Moscow Times

Details on Oil Tax Tweaks Emerging | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The Finance Ministry has proposed gradually reducing oil export duties and increasing the mineral extraction tax, or MET, in a move to boost state revenues that could stimulate exports and drive up domestic fuel prices.

The ministry needs to find new revenue sources to cover President Vladimir Putin's promises to spend more on social benefits, the armed forces, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2018 soccer World Cup.

Although tax relief is being offered on some projects, such as extracting hard-to-recover tight oil, the increase in MET would squeeze the profit margins earned by oil refiners who in turn would seek to pass on the cost to drivers.

"Crucially, the proposed change would lead to a rise in domestic motor fuel prices, something the government will try to avoid at any cost," Vienna-based JBC Energy consulting firm said in a note earlier this week."

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Moscow Foresees Handover of Baumgertner Soon | Business | The Moscow Times

Moscow Foresees Handover of Baumgertner Soon | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia expects Belarus soon to hand over the head of Russian potash producer Uralkali, arrested last month in the Belarussian capital, a Kremlin official said Friday.

The remarks by foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov suggested the two countries were closer to resolving a dispute that flared after Uralkali quit a sales partnership that had been one of the dominant forces on the global potash market.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who will meet President Vladimir Putin on Monday, said Thursday that he was ready to repatriate Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner but wanted a change of ownership in Uralkali that restored strong commercial links with Belarus."

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Qatar's QNB, UDC agree $425m loan deal - Banking & Finance -

Qatar's QNB, UDC agree $425m loan deal - Banking & Finance -

"Qatar National Bank (QNB) has signed a 10 year QR1.548bn ($425m) loan facility agreement with United Development Company (UDC), the master developer behind The Pearl-Qatar in Doha.
The loan deal has been inked to finance the purchase of the remaining residential units at Qanat Quartier in the Pearl-Qatar Island, one of the ten precincts that make up the development, a statement said.
The Pearl-Qatar is an artificial island which spans almost 4 million sq m of reclaimed land."

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Saudi Arabia focuses on alternative energy |

Saudi Arabia focuses on alternative energy |

"Saudi Arabia hopes to get up to 50 per cent of its power from nuclear and other renewable sources within 20 years, the president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewables Energy, or KA-CARE, says.
“Nuclear energy and renewables have an active role and can contribute up to 50 per cent of electricity production,” Hashim Yamani said in remarks published by the official Saudi Press Agency on Saturday.
The Arab world’s largest economy plans to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030 with 17 gigawatts capacity at a total cost of around $100 billion. The plants will take nine years to 11 years to complete and the first will start operations by 2020."

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Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle Group approached for BlackBerry bid - Banking & Finance -

Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle Group approached for BlackBerry bid - Banking & Finance -

"Carlyle Group, the US private-equity firm in which Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company owns a 7.5 percent stake, has been approached by Mike Lazaridis, the co-founder of BlackBerry stepped down in last year, to launch a bid to buy the troubled smartphone company, it was reported at the weekend.
Lazaridis set up BlackBerry in 1985 but owns a 5.7 percent stake in the company, making him one of its largest individual shareholders. He left as co-chief executive in 2012 but has now approached private equity firms the Blackstone Group and the Carlyle Group, according to reports in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal newspapers.
Lazaridis was not immediately reachable for comment and BlackBerry declined to comment, Reuters said."

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Lockheed Martin clinches $4-bn Pentagon missile defence deal | Business Standard

Lockheed Martin clinches $4-bn Pentagon missile defence deal | Business Standard:

"The Pentagon said on Friday it had finalised a contract worth nearly $4 billion with Lockheed Martin Corp to supply additional missile defence equipment to the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

The deal involves Lockheed's Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system that is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in midair, according to the Pentagon's daily digest of major weapons contracts.

The contract reflects growing confidence and demand for the missile defence system, said Riki Ellison, founder of the non-profit Missile Defence Advocacy Alliance."

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Saudi Gazette - Qatar’s Islamic banks on a fast track to growth: S&P

Saudi Gazette - Qatar’s Islamic banks on a fast track to growth: S&P:

"The Qatari government’s strategy to grow Qatar as an Islamic banking center means that it is highly supportive of this sector. Islamic banks currently represent one-quarter of Qatar’s banking system in terms of assets, up from 13 percent in 2006, and we anticipate that they will continue to gain market share, Standard & Poor’s ratings services said."

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Pakistani financial portal to be acquired by UAE-based group – The Express Tribune

Pakistani financial portal to be acquired by UAE-based group – The Express Tribune:

"Investor Guide 360, a website offering research reports on the corporate sector, has attracted investment from the Aref Mohammed alZarouni Group of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a company official told The Express Tribune on Saturday.
A known name in Pakistan’s investment banking, Mir Mohammad Alikhan, has joined hands with Aref Mohammed alZarouni, who is a member of the eminent alZarouni family of the UAE, to acquire a majority stake in the website for an undisclosed amount. The investment has been made through a holding company, AMZ MAK Capital Limited, according to Baqar Abbas Jafri, founder of the website.
“The acquisition of Investor Guide 360 will boost AMZ MAK Capital’s strategic growth plans in Pakistan. We thank all financial institutions, especially brokerage houses, which have collaborated with Investor Guide 360 in opening a new avenue of knowledge for the country’s investors,” said AMZ MAK Capital Executive Chairman Aref Mohammed alZarouni in an emailed statement."

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Dubai regains ground as global financial hub -

Dubai regains ground as global financial hub -

"The negative impact of rising Middle East tensions around Syria is only short-term for Dubai as favorable polices moved it into the spotlight of global finance and banking.

The month of September when temperatures sink and business travelers return for conferences marks the start of the economic high season in the Gulf region, with Dubai presenting news on a daily basis that the business beat is back.

On Monday, Bank of London and The Middle East said it will float share on the Nasdaq Dubai, the Middle East only international bourse by regulatory standards. The going public of the largest British Islamic bank, which said it would be around 195 million shares at an estimated listing price of 2.57 U.S. dollars, will mark the first floating of new securities at Nasdaq Dubai in more than five years.

Also on Monday, United States-based capital markets platform provider Calypso Technology said it opened an office in the DIFC, the offshore financial center of Dubai which also harbors the Nasdaq Dubai."

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Saudi Gazette - Almunajem plans stake in Doux

Saudi Gazette - Almunajem plans stake in Doux:


Saudi food distributor Almunajem is considering taking a stake in French poultry processor Doux, which is looking to exit administration within two months.

Almunajem, which distributes Doux's products in Saudi Arabia, is weighing up a 25 percent holding in the company, the French firm has revealed.

The Saudi distributor would join a share roster that looks set to feature French investment fund Développement & Partenariat as the majoirty shareholder in Doux.

The poultry group announced the possible investment from its Saudi customer as it outlined hopes it can exit administration in mid-November after more than a year."

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Saudi Gazette - IDB plans to issue another $1bn sukuk in 2014

Saudi Gazette - IDB plans to issue another $1bn sukuk in 2014:

"The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will not go to the international markets to raise funds through a US dollar sukuk issuance again in 2013, although it may still issue sukuk through private placement, confirmed Dr Ahmad Muhamed Ali, President of the IDB, in an interview with the Saudi Gazette in London.

Dr Ali and a strong IDB Group delegation have attended the G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition Investment Conference in London, which was organized by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the IDB Group.

The IDB issued its last sukuk offering in May this year – a 5–year $1 billion Sukuk Al Wakalah with a fixed profit rate of 1.535 percent per annum and a spread Mid-Swaps plus 30 basis points. The IDB Board of Governors earlier approved the increase  insize of its Islamic Trust Certificates Issuance Program (sukuk program) from $6.5 billion to $10 billion."

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Muntajat set for major role in Qatar’s downstream growth, sa..

Muntajat set for major role in Qatar’s downstream growth, sa..:

"The Minister of Energy and Industry, HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada has lauded the achievements of Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat) which were accomplished in just one year since it was established.

During a visit on Thursday to the company’s headquarters, al-Sada said, “Muntajat has already achieved significant operational and commercial milestones by being responsible for the marketing and sales of almost 90% of Qatar’s chemical and petrochemical products.” He hoped this will become 100% by the end of the year.

Al-Sada said in a company statement issued yesterday that Muntajat is delivering on its promise to customers and providing a platform for the industry to grow in line with the vision of HH the Emir  Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. “The downstream industry is primed for expansion in alignment with the Qatar National Vision of a diversified and competitive economy,” al-Sada said."

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Gulf telcos poised for downgrades as competition intensifies | The National

Gulf telcos poised for downgrades as competition intensifies | The National:

"Telecoms players are increasingly finding themselves in a tight spot and on the receiving end of negative ratings outlooks as competition stiffens across the region.

Bahrain Telecommunications (Batelco) is the latest operator at risk of being downgraded by the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), which has placed Batelco on negative watch, while Shuaa Capital recently issued a sell call on du.

Analysts are keen to note that a negative trend across the region has yet to play out and although some players such as Etisalat are still doing well, other operators are finding it difficult to maintain growth and market share."

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IPOs back in fashion as investors warm to UAE stocks | The National

IPOs back in fashion as investors warm to UAE stocks | The National:

"A flurry of initial public offerings is planned for the coming months amid ripe valuations and investor appetite for UAE stocks.

This month, the Bank of London & The Middle East announced an intent to list its shares on the Nasdaq Dubai in October, the bourse’s first listing in almost five years.

The news was then followed by two IPO revelations this week – Just Falafel is considering a 25 per cent listing of the food chain’s shares on the Nasdaq Dubai and Damac Properties is eyeing a London share sale.

The renewed confidence among UAE companies illustrates a marked change in attitude towards raising capital from equity markets."

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Etihad chief focused on India’s Jet Airways |

Etihad chief focused on India’s Jet Airways |

"Abu Dhabi-based Etihad airlines is focused on taking a stake in India’s Jet Airways, its chief executive said on Friday amid media speculation it could invest in Italy’s troubled Alitalia.
When asked whether Etihad was interested in taking a stake in Alitalia, Etihad chief executive James Hogan told AFP that “At the moment I’m focused on India, transactions in India.”
He said Etihad has a strong relationship with Alitalia, and flies to Rome and Milan.
“We look at many businesses but we are primarily focused on Jet Airways,” said Hogan."

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Ukraine to become China's largest overseas farmer in 3m hectare deal | South China Morning Post

Ukraine to become China's largest overseas farmer in 3m hectare deal | South China Morning Post:


China will plough billions of yuan into farmland in Ukraine that will eventually become its biggest overseas agricultural project.

The move is a significant step in China's recent efforts to encourage domestic companies to farm overseas as China's food demand grows in pace with urbanisation.

Under the 50-year plan, Ukraine will initially provide China with at least 100,000 hectares - an area almost the size of Hong Kong - of high-quality farmland in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, mainly for growing crops and raising pigs.

The produce will be sold to two Chinese state-owned grain conglomerates at preferential prices. The project will eventually expand to three million hectares."

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